Welcome to the Spring edition of BloomBuzz! We are excited to share our news with you.
The Bloom Group is 60!
Sixty years ago, on March 12, 1961, The Bloom Group was incorporated under the original name of the St. James Community Service Society. To celebrate this milestone, we recently launched #Throwback Thursdays, snapshots of the past sixty years of our work in the community. Look for #Throwback Thursdays on our social media channels (see above).
We are excited to announce 60 years in Bloom a celebration of our 60th birthday on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Virtual or in-person event?
That’s the big question we are asking as we look ahead at relaxed restrictions on group events and a return to a new normal by the fall. We’d like to hear from you on this issue. Do you think you will be comfortable in attending an in-person event in October? Would you prefer a virtual event? Please drop us a line with the subject line: Virtual vs In-Person Event to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 604-606-0306.
Your input matters. Thank you!
Music at May’s
March is Music Therapy Month. This couldn’t have come at a better time for our patients at May’s Place hospice who were treated to music therapy for the first time by a registered music therapist. Tracy Laslop offered her first therapy session on March 10, 2021 and, judging by the smiles on the faces of the patients, the therapy is having a profound impact. Music therapy has proven to be a safe outlet for self-expression and improve memory, speech and cognitive skills while providing physical, psychological and social benefits. According to Tracy, “Familiar music at the end of life is particularly helpful because, for someone with advanced dementia or someone closer to the end of life, hearing a familiar song can trigger memories or language, and can really help people and their families to connect.”
Music therapy at May’s Place would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our donors like Patricia North.
“It’s rewarding to be able to support a program like music therapy at May’s Place. Music therapy helps promote healing and comfort for end-of-life patients, which will make a significant difference in the quality of life for the patients at May’s Place.” Check out the magic of music therapy in this video: Music Therapy at May’s Place Hospice
The Healing Benefits of Art
KG has been creating art since he was nine years old. A resident of Victory House, where people with mental health concerns have a permanent home in a supportive environment with a physician, nurse, dietitian and therapists, KG finds solace and peace while doing art in the privacy of his room. “[Living at Victory House] gives me the space and time,” he said. “You can’t really sit down and draw a picture when you’re facing the cold and trying to find a coffee or whatever. Or when you’re hungry. You have to find food. So you don’t have time to sit down and do anything. You can’t think of stuff either because you have so much on your mind. In this place I can relax and think of things.”
In December, Laura Faint, Victory House’s Coordinator, started an art project to see if the residents would be interested in creating art. Like KG, many people started showing her the art they were already creating. She said, “It’s amazing. I love it. It fires up my brain and my heart to see people being able to clearly express themselves in a way other than just verbally, and it’s great that we are able to give them that avenue. We’d like to keep offering more things like that to them.”
According to Laura, “Mental health housing in the Downtown Eastside can be quite intimidating to some people, and I think it’s important to try to break down that stigma and just show a different narrative.”
We’d like to welcome Susie M. to her new role as Indigenous Service Team Lead at our Powell Place Women’s Shelter. Susie started as a Food Service Support Worker in the kitchen at Powell Place, then became a Shelter Support Worker, and took on her new role in February 2021. As a Sixties Scoop Survivor, she brings a great deal of lived experience to the role and works closely with all of the residents to help them complete housing and CERB applications, connect with medical and mental health resources, fill in online tax forms, and much more. She feels her greatest impact is in working closely with women who have Indigenous ancestry, with whom she may share similar childhood experiences. Susie said, “I’ve had women coming to me, asking me for my support about Sixties Scoop or Residential Scoop, and they’ll tell me a little bit about what they went through and we can actually relate and begin communication from there.” We wish Susie all the best in her new role.
Putting Mental Health First
Be a Mental Health Hero
Our Heroes for Mental Health Campaign launches April 1, 2021. Funds raised will provide important art and music therapy and recreational activities for residents faced with mental wellness challenges. If you are interested in donating or learning more, please contact
Cindy Graves: 604-604-0306 or
“2020 has been a difficult year across the board and with Covid-19, the communities here in Vancouver have been faced to cope with great challenges. Despite these challenges, I have been so inspired by the work that you continually progress at The Bloom Group to protect and empower those most disadvantaged in our community. Because I believe deeply in your mission, and am inspired by your unwavering commitment … to help support your cause.”
Molly Clinton, donor
Make a difference.
Thank you for your generous support!
The Bloom Group
391 Powell Street